I am 38 years old, never had children, my fiance and I have been together for two years. He has 2 children that don't live with him, his son who is now 17 lives with his mom. Whenever his ex can't seem to handle their son, she tends to send him to us. He is now with us again for the 6th, 7th time since we've been together. Each time he's come to live with us, his dad has rules here that he doesn't like, because his mom had none! So once his dad says something he doesn't like he takes off to his moms again! His son plays both his mom and dad! This last time his mom found a marijuana pipe, 1/2 a joint and rolling papers, she WILL NOT let him go back unless he pee's clean! He came here 5 days ago, which his dad has basically let him come and go, which I don't believe that's right, he has NO consequences for his actions and mouths his dad and disrespects me constantly! Just the other day he brought home a puppy! This made me furious! He did not ask either one of us! He has no job, doesn't know where he's going to be living from one week to the next! I feel that if he doesn't want to abide by our rulesn disrespects his dad and IN that his dad needs to let him be on his way and figure it out himself!? But, his dad feels bad and says he doesn't want to just throw away his son, he does have places to go, he will not be on the street! But his dad is trying more to be his buddy than his father and hurting me in the process! Please help, I don't know what do to or if I'm wrong for "kicking him out" if he can't live with our rules here!? Thanks for your attention and would appreciate any responses/knowledge that you can give me!?
You might try posting this in the Stepparent community, there might be more helpful advice there for someone in your position. Of course a teenager is going to disrespect his parents. Even kids who live well-structured lives (and are not being bounced by two parents who are poor disciplinarians) mouth off to their parents. And unfortunately, you're not a parent here. Very sorry to put such a blunt boot on it. I have a stepdad and I like him a lot. He's a nice guy, always there for us, helps with projects around the house, and is an adoring granddad to my son. He's been my stepfather for 30 years. I give him a Father's Day present and like to see him all the time. If he came to me and told me (or said to my mother) that I needed some discipline and should get a better attitude, would that impress me? I'd tell my mom to show *him* to the street. That is how much right he has even after all these years to draw a line or be critical. He's not my dad, he's just some guy who married my mom, which he certainly did not do in order to be a stepfather to me.
Your only power base in this situation is to become a good, understanding adult friend to the kid. You don't have the right to yell at him, you don't even have the right to say judgmental things about him, since he and your fiance have a relationship that is written in blood and law and pre-dates yours by years. If you have worked at it and really, really tried to be there for him and to feel sympathy for him and understand his teenage issues and probable resentments and angst, you might get somewhere with the kid because he will want to please you. But the situation (you being your fiance's live-in) does not hand that to you. In other words, of all the kinds of power, position power is useless here, it's reverent power that works.
Someone is always writing in the forums with the opinion that the bratty kids of their live-in or their new spouse need a 'butt-whippen' and stuff like that. I've never seen anyone write "how can I better understand my new stepkid? He seems like he's totally checking out." I know you aren't planning to marry your fiance to get closer to his children, but honey, they are part of his entire package and will be until he dies, probably afterward too. Please be ready for this.
Tan, I think some of your problem may be in unrealistic expectations of his behavior.
He's 17. He shouldn't have a job and know where he'll live - he should be in school with a home and food guaranteed by his parents. He is owed that, a birthright, that his parents are obligated to provide for him.
Regardless of whether he's polite to his dad's girlfriend.
I think you're out of place here demanding that this child go off and find "some place to live", force him to find "some place to go". He has a place, his father's home.
I think maybe you should take some time to find a home apart from your boyfriend, and allow him to live up to his parental obligations if you find it too hard to live with his prickery teenage son.
Thank you for your response, maybe I did the right thing posting this in the wrong community? This way there no sugar coating the responses that I get back? So, I know you may not be a doctor, but If his dad has given him the choice of abiding by his rules or to go back to his moms (which all his dad is doing different is giving him a curfew) than is that still wrong in your eyes? I just wanted to let you know you really made me think about this whole situtaion in a totally differewnt perspective! I really don't know what's right or wrong never being a parent? I've read your response probably 10 times, I had a long talk with my fiance about his son, I'm going to take off for the night so they can have a one on one to talk about things!? Again I appreciate your insight! :)
I think my perspective has to do more with the clear memories I have of being a teenager, than it does to having experience as a parent. You can do that also. If you think about how things were when you were a teenager, and imagine a woman coming to live with your dad who gets mad at you and is impatient with you, and seems to back him up in the unfriendly things he says to you, it might be easier to see what he's thinking. A kid whose parents are broken up can easily feel that nobody loves them, and even that they were a mistake. Certainly it is possible to come into this situation as a teen and have no feeling of anything being right about your life. (Dad and mom apart, mom mad at you and punishing you by kicking you to dad, dad not as interested as he is in his new girlfriend, kids at school suggesting smoking a doobie, a puppy is sure cute and loves you no matter what, etc.) If you think about this, you can sort of get there. As Rock says, at this still-young age, a kid is owed a home and food guaranteed by his parents. It is indeed a birthright, and if his parents are hacking away at this by threatening him with loss of the roof over his head every time they get impatient with him, the poor damn kid. If a kid is to focus on his school work and stay out of trouble, he should not have to wonder where he will be living next week. He should be a full member of the household, and never have to even think twice about that, so he can worry about other things that teenagers have to worry about. They have enough of those.
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